Sunday, February 26, 2017

Thailand, Koh Tao - part 2

Let's start where we left off in part 1 - with a sunset. Some were more, some less bright red, but most were very pretty.

We usually went snorkelling shortly after breakfast.
These are Squirrelfish between Staghorn corals.

There were a lot of very big rocks around, that seemed to defy gravity. I really can't understand what is holding this one up there. Sorry for the quality of the photo, it was taken from the water while snorkelling.

A Grouper sitting on a carpet of Zoanthids.

These were always just hanging in the water in small groups, I think they are Golden rabbitfish.

One day we decided to make a hike to the West side of the island, and do some snorkelling in the bays on the way. Already after a couple of meters we had to climb up a lot of steps through the neighbouring resort, and then we followed the narrow path through the jungle to another resort near the West end of our bay...

... then there was more uphill climbing and then downhill to next bay, again we had to walk through two resorts. We found ourselves a nice spot on the beach at second resort and decided it was enough of hill climbing in the heath and among mosquitoes and went snorkelling.

These are Bannerfish, they are the same as we seen in Maldives...

... as well as Sergeant Majors.

This is the only turtle I've seen in whole time. It was quite busy eating and didn't pay too much attention to me.

Colourful Anemone with a Clownfish

Parrotfish were plentiful and in unbelievably bright colours.

On our way back we had to climb the same hills, this photo is taken from the highest point of our hike. There was a place called Sky bar up there, we hoped to get something refreshing to drink, but it was closed.

Luckily we got a nice cold gin&tonic and a pleasant chat with bartender at bar in neighbouring resort Sunset Bungalows.

Next day it was time for the next adventure - we hiked to Chalok bay and hired a kayak. Plan was to paddle along the coast towards East as far as we feel like it. I had a feeling that Captain's expectation of how far that will be were a bit more ambitious than mine.

We made first snorkelling stop on the East corner of Chalok bay. We were lucky to get there before all the tourist boats did.
We found a lovely Cowry shell. Of course we just took a look and a photo and left it there.

This one is from a Jack fish family

These are Streaked spinefoots, from the family of Rabbitfish.

This is a Blenny, sitting on a coral

I only saw these once, and I don't know their names.

This one I know - it is a Crown of thorns starfish. In great numbers they can be very devastating for reefs, since they eat corals. In Australia they are removed from reefs if there are too many, and even on Koh Tao they reduced their numbers after El Nino damaged corals few years back, to give corals the chance to recover from El Nino as fast as possible. Luckily, this was the only one I've seen.

These beauties were quite common, they are Two-barred rabbitfish.

Next we paddled to the neighbouring Shark bay. It got it's name from many baby Blacktip reef sharks that live there. I was lucky to have seen quite a number of them, but they wouldn't come close, so all the photos I got are a bit blurry.

After snorkelling in the bay we wanted to make a stop on the lovely sandy beach, but there were signs Private all over the place. Beach obviously belongs to some posh resort, and unlike on most private beaches they don't like visitors that don't pay. We still pulled our kayak out of the water, ate some bananas and stayed for couple of minutes, but didn't feel welcome. So we left the beach, Captain on the kayak and I was snorkelling in hope of seeing some more Blacktips. After a while I suggested to the Captain that we should return to the beach so I can also climb onto the kayak, but he said no, I can do it in the water. I didn't think so, but I tried and managed to turn the kayak over and Captain and our rucksack landed in water. Captain was angry, although we pulled the rucksack out of the water so fast it didn't have the time to get really wet. I knew it wasn't going to work. So we tried a new approach - first I climbed onto kayak while Captain was still in the water and held it, and then he climbed on. This worked. By the time we were both on it, I didn't feel like paddling further East, so we turned back towards Chalok bay. We made a stop in a very small bay, that we had all to ourselves. We pulled the kayak on a tiny beach and sat under the trees in warm water for a while, and afterwards did some more snorkelling.

The edge of the bay is very rocky, and again there were some very oddly shaped rocks there.

Captain was also exploring the rocks.

After the snorkelling we paddled by the Freedom beach...

... and some more resorts ...

... to the place where we returned the kayak. Our time wasn't up yet, but we were getting tired and hungry and I had the feeling the swimming web started growing between my fingers.

And here is one more photo of June Juea, or "our" bay, this time taken from Pinnacle hotel reception.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - what a beautiful spot! Amazing water and wow - that purple anemone is amazing!